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NCJ Number: 83055 Find in a Library
Title: Marijuana and Economic Due Process - A Transition From Prohibition to Regulation
Journal: Contemporary Drug Problems  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1980)  Pages:401-435
Author(s): R T Oakes
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 35
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The history of the criminalization of supplying and using marijuana is outlined and its effectiveness and rationale assessed, and an alternative economic model is proposed for the decriminalization and regulation of marijuana.
Abstract: The criminalization of marijuana resulted from myths about its negative effects and social and racial discrimination against blacks, Chicanos, and the Chinese, who were the principal users of marijuana when initial legislation was enacted in the early 1900's. Now, previously held beliefs about the negative effects of marijuana have not been substantiated by research, and its use has become widespread among both youth and adults. Given the current state of knowledge about marijuana's effects and its spreading use, it is not rational or fair to continue prohibitions against it, particularly since prohibition produces an illegal market exempt from taxation and meaningful state regulation. If the state is to be consistent in its approach to regulating the marketing of products, then it should admit marijuana to the same legal status as products such as liquor and tobacco products, whose negative effects on health have been documented, but whose widespread use and economic value dictate regulation instead of prohibition. Economic due process requires that marijuana growing, marketing, and use be legitimized and rationally regulated. The model proposed can be termed the State-licensed, free-market model. This would maintain the State's interest in regulation while still permitting the most effective market forces to operate within the industry. The issues presented in such a scheme would include the agriculture itself, grading and evaluation of the commodity, financing, manufacture, pricing, distribution, advertising, tax implications, and the market in futures. Seventy notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Economic analysis; Legislation; Marijuana
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